Covid-19, significantly reduced deaths from steroid use. The Wall Street Journal Insights
A new analysis of several studies in which steroid drugs have been used to treat seriously ill Covid-19 patients highlights that the drugs have significantly contributed to reducing patient deaths. WSJ.
In several studies involving a total of 1,700 patients, a number of corticosteroids – anti-inflammatory drugs that can attenuate the effects of an overactive immune system – have helped reduce Covid-19 deaths by about a third, compared to patients. who did not receive steroids, according to the analysis published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. WHAT THE STUDY SAYS
The study was carried out by scientists and doctors convened by the World Health Organization. The authors analyzed the results of seven studies, between February and June, which evaluated the use of the commonly used drugs dexamethasone, hydrocortisone and methylprednisolone. The study found relatively consistent benefits for the use of the drugs in seriously ill patients: Out of 678 seriously ill patients who received steroids, 32.7% died, compared with 41.5% of patients who received usual care or the placebo.
Scientists and doctors involved in the meta-analysis said the findings give hope that low-cost and widely available drugs could become standard treatments for severe Covid-19 cases. “This seems to me to be one of the first clear victories in trying to fight Covid-19,” said co-author Derek C. Angus, a distinguished professor of critical medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, in an interview. WHAT ANGUS (UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH) SAID
He added that the results are particularly encouraging due to the consistency of benefit for patients seen through different types of steroids and should lead to wide acceptance of steroids as a line of treatment for Covid- 19.
Dr. Angus cautioned that steroids appear to be useful only in the sickest hospitalized patients. So far, no drug has proven effective in treating the early stages of the disease.
Dr. Angus said it’s too early to know for sure how steroids work to treat disease caused by the novel coronavirus, but that they appear to dull an overactive immune response thought to be a leading cause of death in some patients with COVID-19.
“It’s almost death by friendly fire,” he said. “It ends up causing more problems for your immune system than for the virus itself.”
Scientists hailed the UK study results as the first to show that prescription drugs could produce a statistically significant reduction in Covid-19 deaths, but they were not considered definitive by all doctors without further study, two doctors. not involved in the analysis wrote in an editorial that accompanied its publication in JAMA.
Based on the UK study in June, the US National Institutes of Health already recommends the use of dexamethasone in hospitalized patients on ventilators and the use of other steroids when dexamethasone is not available. Dr. Angus said WHO planned to update its treatment guidelines Wednesday to recommend steroids in seriously ill patients.
(Extract from the foreign review of Epr communication)

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